Ren­o­va­tions un­der­way at SAERC

Cape Breton Post - - NEWS/WEATHER - BY NANCY KING nk­ing@cb­post.com

PORT HAWKES­BURY — The most re­cent stage of a long-term ren­o­va­tion of the high school in Port Hawkes­bury is now un­der­way.

The Strait Re­gional School Board re­ceived ad­vanced fund­ing for the ad­di­tions and ren­o­va­tions project at the Strait Area Ed­u­ca­tion Recre­ation Cen­tre. This com­po­nent of the project will in­clude change room ren­o­va­tions and re­con­fig­u­ra­tion, mu­sic room ren­o­va­tions and fire code im­prove­ments and is val­ued at just over $1 mil­lion.

“It’s fair to say that this project is fast-tracked and the vast ma­jor­ity of that work will be done in the next two months,” su­per­in­ten­dent Jack Beaton said.

The school is near­ing the end of a seven-year ma­jor re­con­struc­tion project, with much of the work tak­ing place in the sum­mers when stu­dents aren't at­tend­ing classes.

The school has had to make some ad­just­ments and some spa­ces won’t be able to be used from time to time, but the reg­u­lar pro­grams will carry on, Beaton said.

“There will be, I guess, some in­con­ve­niences and things like that, per­haps some rerout­ing of stu­dents that will have to hap­pen but it won’t in­ter­fere with their day-to-day pro­gram­ming,” he said. “That school and that staff, ad­min­is­tra­tion have made ex­cep­tional ef­forts to ac­com­mo­date things like late starts, and chang­ing of the build­ing just be­cause they value the en­hance­ments to the build­ing.”

Board chair Mary Jess MacDon­ald noted the school steer- ing team re­cently met with par­ties in­volved in the project.

“We were looking, with the team — the de­sign­ers and the prov­ince and our staff and the com­mu­nity peo­ple — we were looking at where are the next steps and what peo­ple are looking for­ward to in that build­ing,” she said.

Other up­com­ing changes down the road in­clude changes to school grounds, in­clud­ing the bus loop and park­ing, MacDon­ald noted.

The phase com­pleted last sum­mer in­volved the re­con­struc­tion of the high school’s class­rooms. The pre­vi­ous year in­volved cen­tre core ar­eas, labs and sup­port spa­ces and some class­rooms.

The school opened in 1978. The work in this phase will be done by Brilun Construction of Syd­ney.

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